ATHLETICS: Sophie’s selection a real feather in the cap for coach Cossins

Wiltshire Times: Dan Cossins Dan Cossins

DAN Cossins was this week celebrating the landmark moment of seeing his first athlete selected for a World Championships, writes Kevin Fahey.

Cossins, who is based in Trowbridge, has only been working with Sophie Papps for six months.

But the 19-year-old’s decision to relocate her home to Bath to work with Cossins has been rewarded with a place in the 35-strong Great Britain team for the World Indoor Championships in Poland next month.

“Sophie’s selection is brilliant news and I am very pleased for her,” said Cossins.

“She is also the first athlete I have coached to a World Championships in an individual event.

“Danny Talbot competed in the Europeans (and won a bronze in the 200m) and was in the GB relay at the London Olympics but Sophie will be running the 60m at the Worlds and that is fantastic.”

Papps secured her place in the team with an excellent performance at the Sainsbury’s British Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday when she recorded a personal best of 7.22secs.

Meanwhile Talbot ended his season with a morale-boosting success over French ace Christophe Lemaitre in the heats of the 60m at the Birmingham Grand Prix.

Talbot couldn’t improve upon his personal best of 6.62secs set the previous weekend but the 22-year-old still ran 6.67secs to edge out Lemaitre (6.69secs) as the pair finished fifth and sixth respectively in a world class field.

“I wanted to make the final but if not then beating Lemaitre was my next goal and I did that,” said Talbot. “I was actually quite pleased with the time as I had been ill in the week and missed training.

“I am calling it a day with the indoors now, having a brief rest and then straight back into hard training.”

In-form Carter excels on his Wales debut

ALEX Carter marked his debut in the Wales Cross Country Championships with a terrific victory in the U20 men’s race.

The 18-year-old from Winsley, near Bradford on Avon, had targeted this event after deciding to switch allegiance to Wales towards the end of last year and was determined to give a good show in front of the country’s top athletics officials.

“I was really happy to win and get my first Welsh title,” said Carter.

“It was only a small field but very competitive and the conditions were really tough at Llandeilo.”

Carter was up against defending champion Mike Ward of Cardiff AC, who took up the early running clearly intent on keeping his hands on the trophy.

Carter kept close attention, with the Swansea Harriers’ pair of Josh Griffiths and Jonathan Tobin also in contention.

There was little to separate the leading pair until the final kilometre of the two-lap course when Carter decisively kicked clear and won by almost 100 metres.

“I had won two bronze medals in the England Cross Country Championships (U20s in 2013 and U17s in 2011) but this is the best yet and I really enjoyed it,” added Carter.

The St Laurence School student switched surface to go on duty for Wales in the Armagh International 5k road race last night.

“The race has a top class entry for what is a very fast course so I’ll just be hanging in there and hoping to get a quick time,” added Carter.

Carter also confirmed that his victory in Llandeilo has earned him selection to represent Wales at the Home Countries International in Nottingham at the end of next month.

  • IN HER first road race of the year, Bradford on Avon’s former marathon international Holly Rush finished 26th overall of 739 runners and second woman in the Bramley 20-mile road race in a time of 2hrs 02mins 28secs – just four seconds behind Emily Wicks.

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